Fat Chance for the “Fat Tax”
Fat Chance for the “Fat Tax” Our bodies and what we put into them is our own business unless someone else is harmed in the process. I can understand a tax on drinkers and smokers because drinkers can harm others when they get behind the wheel of a car, and secondhand smoke is a killer of many, but a tax on what people eat is preposterous. People are still going to eat junk food no matter what the cost is; look at smoking, the price of cigarettes keeps going up but people continue to buy them.
People already know that junk food is bad for them, but again and again they resort back to it because of the taste. We cannot depend on our government to help us with everything, we need to be independent and learn from our own mistakes, it’s the only way we will grow as a society. The fat tax would not work because it would make the poor spend more of their already limited income, people would still go back to junk food time after time, and obesity is a dilemma that would not be solved by a simple tax. Obesity and poverty go hand in hand; junk foods are cheap so the poor continue to buy them.By placing this tax we would be taxing the people who couldn’t afford it. Even people that are not obese would be affected by the tax, people like the taste of junk foods whether they are overweight or not. The poor would only end up poorer if the tax was set because even if they did stop buying junk foods, they would still have to pay more money for a healthy alternative. The tax could possibly end up making us a healthier nation… possibly; but one thing for sure is it would definitely make us a poorer nation.Alan Maryon-Davis, President of the UK Faculty of Public Health stated that, “The downside of the tax is that it’s regressive in terms of it would hit the poorest hardest, and in the current climate when people are struggling to make a living, it’s a difficult balance. ” Establishing this tax could also lead to job cuts at corporations that have popular products that are considered unhealthy. To set a tax during a time when the economy is not up doesn’t seem to be a good idea any way you look at it; we will be taking more money out of people’s pockets.People prefer chips, fast food burgers, and fries over healthier things such as fruits, vegetables, and organic foods; so paying an extra . 20 or . 30 cents is not going to change their mind on what they like to eat. People might grumble about paying the extra money, but they will still dish it out in the end. If it were a four or five dollar tax then it would probably change their mind, but there would be some very angry citizens. Fatty foods will still be less expensive then healthier foods even if the tax was imposed.People are still going to do what they like to; cigarettes and alcohol are already taxed but people continue to smoke and drink, so how people think a tax on junk foods will change the way people eat is beyond me. Citizens should not look to the government to tell them what they should eat; they should be able to choose by themselves. The tax will either be too large for citizens to accept and they will get angry, or it will be too small for people to really care; there doesn’t really seem to be a happy medium. The June 2005 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition describes this in the article. ‘Overweight or obesity (BMI 25) was 29% among both semivegetarians and vegans, and 25% among lactovegetarians. For them, vegetarian and vegan foods are fattening. Should they be taxed? ” (Satin). This seems to raise a very good question. Should people that are eating healthy but still seem to not be able to keep the weight off be taxed also? We should start using our time to spread healthy eating habits throughout the country instead of taxing things when they get out of hand.Obesity it not a problem that can be solved by a simple tax; just like smoking and drinking were not solved by taxes. If you take this matter as far as the Prohibition went then there would be people hiding out in places sneaking junk food around. William Saletan makes a good point in saying, “If you want to tax the hell out of soda, you need to make people think it’s a drug, not a beverage – that downing a Coke is like puffing on a cigarette” (Engber). If you want people to stop eating junk foods then you need to show them how bad they are, taxing them won’t help.Education on healthy eating habits and exercise would help the obesity epidemic more the tax would. Starting a fat tax would also form the opinion that the U. S. society is against overweight people, which could form insecurities for overweight people, and possibly be considered discrimination. The enabling of the tax might show a decline in obesity, while it could also possibly show a rise in diseases such as anorexia and bulimia. People would get uncomfortable about being overweight, maybe even to the point of depression.The tax could show a decline in obesity over many years, and the money generated from the tax could also help stimulate some of the anti-obesity organizations. The money could also be used to cover health care, medical research, or any other number of beneficial things. It might stimulate some people to start eating healthier and exercising more. Children might be fed healthier and down the road, in a couple generations, the obesity rate would drop. Even though people would still mostly likely buy junk foods it still might cut down on the over-eating of them.Denmark has already started to impose the fat tax and it will be fully done so in 2019. I still don’t buy it. The fat tax is a concept that should be thrown out the window. There are many other ways we can try to rid obesity; we could make companies state (in larger print) clearly what the shopper is buying when they look at the product, make healthy eating habits and exercise a bigger part of our children’s schooling, and inform citizens on the better choice of eating healthy and what it can do to help you. These are easy ways to help obesity prevention without taking money out of the pockets of our citizens. America is a free country and citizens should have a right to choose what they can and cannot eat.Works Cited Engber, Daniel. “Let Them Drink Water! What a fat tax really means for America. ” Slate. 21 September 2009. Article. 19 November 2010. Satin, Mort. “Fat tax falls flat. ” saltinstitute. Salt Institute. 29 July 2009. Web. 20 November 2010. Wilkins, Rebecca. “Danes impose 25% tax increases on ice cream, chocolate, and sweets to curb disease. ” bmj. BMJ. 6 July 2010. Web. 20 November 2010.